18 October 2013

Acting Like Men? Mark Driscoll Crashes Strange Fire, James MacDonald Watches

The Strange Fire conference has caused no small stir among charismatics. Leaders of the movement like Michael Brown have been outspoken about their disapproval of the event in the weeks leading up to it. But so-called 'Reformed Charismatics' have been more silent, yet it is this group that largely should be listening to the truth taught at this conference. They have been silent, that is, until now.

On his way to James MacDonald's "Act Like Men" conference, Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, decided to make a side stop at the Strange Fire Conference. He was not registered for the event, but felt the need to stop and hand out free copies of his own book, A Call to Resurgence.
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Driscoll himself is a continuationist who has declared that "cessationism is worldliness." His apparent "spiritual gift" is what he calls a "gift of discernment" that allows a television screen in his head to reveal to him the filthy and lewd sins of others.


Not long after sending the above tweets, Driscoll would claim that conference security "confiscated" his books:
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Yet, those who witnessed these events firsthand tell a different story. A most trustworthy source would be Mike Riccardi, who serves at Grace Community Church alongside Phil Johnson at GraceLife. Says Riccardi on his Facebook page:

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Cameron Buettel, who maintains the blog The Bottom Line also witnessed this not-so-subtle publicity stunt and added that Driscoll was not alone in his shenanigans:

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The college pastor at Grace Community Church, Austin Duncan, offered this evidence of MacDonald's presence:
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In summary, then, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald, on their way to teach at a conference entitled, "Act Like Men," pulled off a shameless and tactless publicity stunt in the midst of the important truth that is being shared at the Strange Fire conference. Driscoll then lied on social media about his encounter with conference officials, no doubt further provoking those who stand opposed to the message being relayed at Strange Fire.

There is little doubt that this charade will find its way to the pulpits of Mars Hill Church and Harvest Bible Chapel as a witty and humorous anecdote. Acting like men? Hardly. Perhaps it is not coincidental that these words from the Apostle Paul appear amid his teaching regarding spiritual gifts:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
How sad it is when the shepherds of the sheep have not yet given up their own childish ways.

Further Reading
Turned Away at the Door of the Elephant Room
Voddie Baucham's Scheduled Appearance at Harvest Bible Chapel Men's Conference Canceled Due to "Differences Regarding ER2"
Do Not Miss the Strange Fire Conference

44 comments:

  1. This is precisely what SF is about, the exposing of evil and how fitting that two champion goat herdsmen saw fit to show-off their talents. The days ahead will doubtless be filled with more lies, just remember the fate of all liars.

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  2. I have been watching the conference since it started and simultaneously monitoring the twitter feed. It's obvious the attendees are having a most edifying and worshipful experience. Seeing this happen is childish but what is really sad is all the people on twitter defending and praising Mark Driscoll for his behavior.

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  3. I am not sure if this will be allowed but Driscoll is a clown trying to shamelessly promote himself and his book at the Conference trying to address most serious issue. Of course MacDonald was there watching from a distance...

    Despeville

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  4. Birds of a feather flock together........

    Teresa

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  5. They are officially disqualified from ministry with this antic. "Choose to sin, choose to suffer." Thanks James.

    Pastor Paul Holden, Ontario, Canada

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  6. It is tragic that Pastor Mark and Pastor McDonald, both men who have left the Gospel Coalition incidentally, who lead very significant flocks, would choose to go to the Strange Fire Conference to give out Pastor Mark's books and tweet about it (in Pastor Mark's case) in a semi-mocking/joking way. Even if Pastor Mark's books were indeed confiscated, they would have known that given their personalities, that the media would have picked up on their visiting Grace Church during the time of the Strange Fire conference. For Pastor Mark to have distributed his book at the Strange Fire conference for free is just demonstrating a lack of self-control, restraint and wisdom. To tweet about it in such boastful ways (read all his tweets), is just irresponsible to the flock he influences worldwide, given who he is. If they want to disagree with the Strange Fire conference, it should have been done properly. From the Strange Fire staff's point of view, obviously they would tell him not to distribute his books for free, because all other books that are being sold at the conference would have gone through a processs, and been listed for proper sales and so on. For Pastor Mark (who has a track record of preaching well, and being Christ centred, Praise the Lord) to sit in a cafe across and attempt to give out his book for free, he would have been creating a media storm, especially since he was bragging about it on Twitter, and this is wrong. It is one thing to disagree with Dr MacArthur, Dr Sproul, Dr Lawson, Dr Mbewe and the Strange Fire team, but to pull of a stunt like this, is very disappointing. Ironically, they were attending the "Act Like Men" conference, which is a shame. I still believe both men love Jesus and are passionate about the gospel. But, so are Dr MacArthur and the team there at Grace Community Church. What Pastor Driscoll did is unhelpful because the manner (and this is not the first time he has mocked or tried to jibe others in a bid to make fun of them so as to get them to "repent" of their "errors") is not befitting of the character and conduct of a 1 Timothy qualification for an overseer. I have watched every Pastor Mark sermon from the 2000s, and I listen to Pastor MacArthur as he has preached through the whole New Testament. Both love Jesus. However, in this case, I find it very hard to defend Pastor Mark. Hopefully, Pastor Mark can apologise as he has so many times in the past for his wild streak behaviour, having been corrected on his language, tone and attitude many times by Dr John Piper, Dr DA Carson and so on (who cut him alot of slack because of the sheer fact that he preaches the gospel in a Christ centred way). I think Dr MacArthur would forgive him too in a heartbeat. But, I do believe he must apologise for what he has done here. It is unhelpful to both the flock of Christ, and the watching world.

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    1. Well said... and that's exactly what seems to be going on here. It's a pride issue isn't it??
      We all need God's grace to help us with our proclivities, and Pastor Mark's has been made manifest here and many other ways leading up to that. Lets all pray for our brother, Mark.

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  7. I'm so sorry about your computer. I know how inconvenient that is. I hope you didn't lose too many homework or papers you've written. :(

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I think I've recovered most of the immediately important stuff, but I'm hoping that all of it will be salvageable.

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  8. Mac Arthur is no different than Driscoll and Mac Donald. He just repackages himself. You don't need to go to a conference and spend all that money to learn about the charismatic church.

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    1. Dr. John MacArthur has made the live video feed of the conference FREELY available for streaming. Over 25,000 connection points were logged. That means 25,000 computers were connecting to their servers to stream the video. Any group who had more than 10 people in attendance at these remote viewings were eligible to receive a free copy of his book.

      There is very, very little in common between Dr. MacArthur and Driscoll/MacDonald.

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    2. Good call, Tom. MacArthur's approach has never involved crashing Driscoll's or MacDonald's conferences and commandeering attention for himself via twitter. He has however written Driscoll personal letters confronting him with Scripture and very solemnly publicly rebuking him (as the apostle Paul did Peter, I might add). Mark may love the Lord, but he has certainly disqualified himself for the pastorate on more than one occasion.

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    3. Tom, it's your choice to drink the koolaide. Some chose not to.

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    4. Well said. Couldn't make the point better than they way you did

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    5. Tom and Josh, Did they take up an offering during the conference? Just wondering because you said it was FREE. Why a conference about the charismatic church? If people had to spend money on hotels and food, that's is still money out of their own pockets.

      "Any group who had more than 10 people in attendance at these remote viewings were eligible to receive a copy of his book" A marketing ploy.

      "Mac Arthur's approach was never crashing Driscoll's or Mac Donald's conferences" You completely missed my point.

      "and commandeering attention to himself..." and Mac Arthur never does this? This conference just alone is drawing attention to Mac Arthur.

      "Mark may love the Lord" He is a wolf

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  9. Just another example of why Driscoll is not qualified to be a pastor.

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  10. What is up with those two?? It's sad and annoying that they are just doing whatever they want. It's like they are two little kids. They say that people don't reach adulthood until they are 26-27, maybe they need to rethink that.

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  11. I do not appreciate your last sentence on this blog at all. "have not given up their childish ways" as if it's a habitual constant lifestyle. Yes, I think they made a mistake. But thats it. Instead, you're blowing it up to proportions unreasonable.

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  12. At least Driscoll didn't tell any crude, sexually suggestive jokes while he was there. I am reminded again of why I don't listen to him.

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  13. MacDonald has bigger things to worry about than hanging with fellow frat boy, Driscoll. Instead of speaking at yet another conference, MacDonald needs to explain the information in the World Magazine piece yesterday about the gambling issue and the fact that his church is in total chaos. These men both have issues that long ago disqualified them for the ministry. Not that their groupies care about things like that...http://www.worldmag.com/2013/10/no_bluffing/page1

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  14. The Strange Fire conference. I want to share a recent and radical change in my thinking about the highly respected Dr. John MacArthur, but I realize it will cause shock waves here.

    It grieves me to say this, but Dr. MacArthur has been peddling his own brand of strange fire to believers who trust him. I realized that he is greatly admired for an appearance of faithfulness to biblical doctrine. But is this reputation really deserved? I no longer believe so.

    MacArthur has something in common with Jerry Jenkins, Chairman of the Board at Moody Bible Institute and co-author of the grossly extra-biblical, mind-bending “Left Behind” books.

    Both these men teach that, during the “end times”, anyone can take the mark of the beast (i.e. the name or number of the Anti-Christ, “666”) and STILL BE SAVED. That is the very essence of scandalous false teaching. Can it get any worse than that? No, it can’t.

    Jerry Jenkins includes this horrible teaching in the book “The Mark”. And now Dr. MacArthur is on record saying the same thing to his church.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yteZw7VMaRU

    We are living in unusual days. I conclude here with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
    11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
    24b ….insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
    5 Behold, I have told you before.
    35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    Matthew 24 – Read the whole chapter!

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    1. "Anyone can take the mark of the beast and still be saved" is not what MacArthur teaches. You are saying that a saved person can, after salvation, receive the mark and retain salvation. That is not what MacA said. Listen to the video you supplied again and you will find that people can and will be saved AFTER having received the mark. Which of us has not had his time in the clutches of the wicked one AFTERWHICH we are granted salvation? If former ownership by satan disqualifies us from salvation none would ever be saved-read Romans 7. Were we not slaves to the devil before we became slaves to Christ?

      Perhaps your time would be better spent reading and studying the Scriptures without the influence of men such as MacDonald and Driscoll who despise the ones who do not suck-up to them. Your attempt to discredit MacArthur is just as childish as the antics of the men you defend.

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    2. Anonymous, here are the facts,
      The clip you are referring to where Dr MacArthur said anyone taking the Mark of the Beast can be saved afterward, is from 1980, 33 years ago, and the piece was from a Q&A (not a sermon). Here, http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1301-I/

      He preached it rightly in 1993, here
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/66-48, referring to Rev 14:9 and stated flatly that if you take the mark you'll be tormented by God's wrath forever.

      And I would surmise every time it was mentioned after that date it was also preached rightly.

      At the Strange Fire conference he said in typical humble fashion, that he knows he is wrong somewhere and if someone will point it out to him, he will gladly correct it. And on this issue, it is now corrected. So you no longer need to go from blog to blog with your news, now that you know it was a 33 year old mistake, corrected at least 20 years ago. OK?

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    3. Thanks for the heads-up EP. Rev. 14:9-11 is clear and I stand corrected

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    4. To all who responded to my note about John MacArthur's strange fire. I feel your pain, I truly do, since I once respected him also. But we are not to put our trust in fallible man, but in the Word of God.

      This false teaching is STILL on The Grace To You website, in both recorded and written form. Why hasn't it been removed with an apology to all those it has misled for years? Also, 33 years ago Dr. M was already an educated and experienced pastor, who should not have been making grossly unbiblical claims, easily refuted by scripture.

      MacArthur is only correct when he defers to Rev 14:9. NO-ONE can be saved after they have taken the mark of the beast "666". This is the ultimate test of faith for believers in the end times. All who take the mark are eternally doomed, even before they die on earth.

      And finally, I'm not trying to defend MacDonald and Driscoll, both of whom I view as false teachers.

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    5. p.s. I'm not the same anonymous poster who posted under This N That. I just saw that post now. I believe in the Lordship of Jesus Christ...and I also believe Him when He says "Let no man deceive you". We must ask ourselves, what exactly does "sheep's clothing" look like? Sometimes it looks like the illustrious honor of a famous pastor.

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    6. Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth. You echoed my thoughts well.

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  15. It is actually rather pathetic. Imagine that you have to lurk at a successful conference which you disagree with and use twitter to lure people to yourself in order to give your book away. Can't sell it on Amazon like a normal author? Afraid no one would buy it?

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  16. "Act Like Men"... the irony is sledgehammer-like.

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  17. This is a tragedy! An outrage! Disgusting! Free books at another man's conference? I, for one, would like to make a clarion call to all TRUE CHRISTIANS to man their battle stations with the sword of blogging and the helmet of comments. Until each of us is sufficiently outraged by this nonsense, we will never fulfill our commission to go, ye, therefore until all nations, pointing out our perceptions of each other's errors with filters that strain out the tiniest of gnats.

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  18. You're all deserving of one another.

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  19. I know Youth Pastors that act less juvenile than Driscoll

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  20. As far as Driscoll being childish, I concur. He planned it ahead of time, expending time and energy, changing his schedule, packing his books, and driving there to do his deed with aforethought and a friend. It was not a "mistake." It was a childish prank performed in UNhumble, showboat style. Matt Privett commented on his blog, thus "I think I would have thought Mark Driscoll was cool twenty years ago, but then I left youth group."

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  21. Two comments:

    1. Let's keep to the subject of the post, please.

    2. I am shocked that anybody would attempt to defend the childish antics of these men. May God remove the blinders from your eyes.

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  22. ANONYMOUS you said


    October 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    p.s. I'm not the same anonymous poster who posted under This N That.


    I will suggest to you to be polite and at least give your first name, unless you are trying to hide something....



    Teresa

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  23. Perhaps the worst part of all of this is the apparent inability of people to discern good from evil, false teachers and wolves from true teachers of the word of God. Just a couple of scriptures to get you started, but there are many more: Matthew 7:15 Jesus says, “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves.You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit."
    Jesus Christ himself told us there will be wolves. Are you on the lookout for spiritual wolves? How do you spot one? He doesn't look like a wolf, necessarily. But look at his teaching, is it biblical? Look at his character and his behavior. Does it reflect what the Bible teaches about leaders in the church? Read the following passage carefully:

    This saying is trustworthy: “If someone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work.” The overseer then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity. But if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for the church of God? He must not be a recent convert or he may become arrogant and fall into the punishment that the devil will exact. And he must be well thought of by those outside the faith, so that he may not fall into disgrace and be caught by the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:1-9

    He must be self-controlled, respectable, gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money. If you don't know what these words mean, then look them up. This is important. souls are at stake. Look at his family. Is there evidence that he has led them well? John MacArthur is not perfect, he is a man after all. But consider that we have 40 years of his life and teaching to observe - the fruit of his life. He is a godly leader as are the other men who taught at the SF conference. If you truly cannot discern the difference between them and the charismatic teachers with false doctrine or between others who are trying to subvert the truth, then I fear for you.

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  24. The immaturity of Driscoll and MacDonald is bringing serious reproach on the name of Christ. Their utterly immature behavior here (as well as several other documented occurrences of off-the-mark behavior and/or teaching from both men) reveals that they are not Biblically qualified to be pastors or elders, who are required by God to be irreproachable.

    -c

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    1. Added thought: pastors and elders are also required by God to know and be able to teach sound doctrine, and to have the proper heart posture. It's a tall order, that is why the word says let not many become teachers... (References: 1 Tim 3; Titus 1; 2 Tim 2:25-26; James 3:1)

      -carolyn (same person as "-c" above)

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    2. Ack! I meant 2 Tim 2:24-26 sorry!

      -carolyn

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  25. Observing the hyperbolic war of words over conferences like these; of there is ever to be revival/restoration in America it will be a truly Sovereign work of the Holy Spirit - not because of us, but in spite of us...

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    1. Anonymous I'd like to point out a couple of things, please. First, the hyperbole is mostly on the side of people who disagree with the Strange Fire conference, either its existence or the content. The men who spoke at the Strange Fire conference were not hyperbolic, but spoke biblically in clarity, confidence and firmness, in love. Multitudes were edified, and said so.

      Secondly, there is always hyperbole, division, and linguistic ruckus when the truth is proclaimed. Always. The fact that there IS such a ruckus is not indicative of a lack of work via the Holy Spirit. To me, it is assurance that the Holy Spirit IS working. If we can take a look at the bible, Jesus spoke "hard sayings" and many left Him. Did He do it wrong? The Pharisees went hyperbolic over what Jesus was teaching, was the Holy Spirit not present?

      Paul spoke of many who put stumbling blocks in front of him and other Godly apostles, like Driscoll and MacDonald put at the conference. Paul said that "Alexander the metalworker did me much harm" (2 Peter 4:14). We don't know what that 'harm' was but we can guess it included antics such as Driscoll's where he attempted to ply false doctrine in a boldly interrupting and shameful way. Satan caused the demon-possessed slave girl to 'follow Paul for many days', and Paul became greatly annoyed. The Greek for 'greatly annoyed' is 'depleting grief' and 'piercing fatigue'. If you think about it, what Driscoll and MacDonald did is exactly like what the slave girl did. The Spirit was obviously present with the security men and conference organizers, who, despite likely feeling spiritual grief and personal annoyance, handled it in a Spirit-filled way.

      The work of the Holy Spirit was present in and throughout the conference. The rest was the other side's hyperbolic, Pharisaical-like reaction to it. And as far as 'the Spirit's work in spite of us' comment, I'm sorry you feel that way. The men of the conference are being used of the Spirit. This is *exactly* how the Spirit works, through us as Christ's ambassadors and witnesses.

      I'm sorry for the length of this comment, Erin. It is really hard for me to be pithy. I"ll try harder.

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    2. Elizabeth, be careful that you are not worshiping Mac Arthur. You speak as though that everything he preaches IS Biblical and you do defend him as though he can do no wrong.

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  26. Friends,
    I am receiving far too many comments for this thread that are off-topic and/or are nothing more than ad hominem attacks. I do not want to have to close comments early on this post, but will not hesitate to do so if such juvenile comments continue to be submitted.

    The bottom line is this: Driscoll and MacDonald's antics, though not surprising, were nothing more than a childish scheme. I trust the eyewitness accounts that state that Driscoll has lied about his claim that "security confiscated" his books, not only because I know some who witnessed the event, but also because video evidence is available here. So if you are coming to this blog to defend Driscoll, well, good luck with that.

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  27. Erin,

    Amen!!!!!! Well said Erin.

    The proof is in the pudding...I mean video. Sad that Mark and James had to resort to such childish ways and then LIE about it....truly sad.

    Teresa


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